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  1. #1
    Gold Member Whitey's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
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    Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania
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    Kabota B21 TLB

    Default Generator

    After the fifth blackout this summer.......and having it happen just before dark when everyone wants a shower Has anyone ever rigged up a A/C generator and ran it from a rear PTO and back fed their house?

    Seems I have heard of this some time ago......I just want enough juice to run a well and a hot water tank and after that a freezer or fridge and maybe a furnace if it was in the winter time.

    Maybe this is too much to ask. I have looked at commercial natural gas generators and I don't have the budget for one. Gasoline is next but I was curious about the PTO driven one if they exist. I am almost ashamed to admit my dependency on electricity.

    Thanx

    JD 770 / 70 FEL / 7 BH - 425 AWS / 54" MMM / 54" FMP

  2. #2
    Platinum Member jas67's Avatar
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    May 2008
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    985
    Location
    Central PA
    Tractor
    Kubota B7610 + Kubota G1800-S

    Default Re: Generator

    PTO-driven generators seem to sell for much more than their consumer-grade gas-engine-driven counterparts of a similar size.

    I use a 5 KW gas-driven generator for my emergency power needs. I have oil-fired heat (with circulator pump), oil-fired hot water, propane-stove well-water, a freezer, and of course refridgerator.

    This generator more than meets my needs. Not liking gasoline engines that don't get run often, and their associated carb-gumming problems, I have since purchased a surplus 6 KW Onan Diesel generator (1800 RPM), gov't surplus (govliquidation.com). It is a permanent-installation type, but I'm going to mount it to a small harbor-freight trailer with a 10 gal fuel tank (no built-in tank). I paid $400 for this generator -- far less than a PTO one. Since it is diesel, I have a large supply of fuel (oil-heat) on site in case of a long wide-spread outage makes fuel hard to get.

    If you have an electric hot water heater, it will need 3-4 KW just by iteself, so I'd recommend a 10 KW generator in that case.

    Unlike some other things, bigger is not better. Do not buy more than you'll actually need, as these things can use as much as 50% of full-load fuel consumption at idle. My Onan specs .65 gal/hour at full load, and .35 at 1/4 load (which is over half of full load).

    All that said, I'd still like to buy a PTO generator if I find the right deal (one less engine to maintain), but you can't beat some of the values on used surplus Diesel generators.

    Also, do not backfeed with a normal breaking. Spend the money on a proper transfer switch.
    '05 B7610 w/ LA352 FEL
    Everything Attachments Pin-on Pallet Forks, home-made FEL quick attach to swap between these forks and the bucket, Dual rear remotes, CCM Top-N-Tilt, Woods SB60 snowblower, 66" United box blade, 60" back blade (cheapo, old and rusty), 60" KK rake, Woods PHD w/ 9" auger, Yanmar RS1303 3pt tiller, Kubota Ballast box (came with the tractor), Farm Force Carry All.
    '9? G1800S, 48" MMM. 70's Troy Bilt Horse tiller with new 6.5HP briggs engine.

    The means justify the ends.

  3. #3
    Elite Member RonMar's Avatar
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    May 2005
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    2,750
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    Port Angeles WA
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    Jinma 284 delivered 06/28/05

    Default Re: Generator

    Not sure how many HP you have available, but you need 2HP per KW of electrical load. IF you have a very large tractor, as mentioned, it might not be very economical running it to power your house loads.

    You need a transfer switch, a transferable sub panel, or an interlocked circuit breaker to safely and legally shift between commercial and generator power. A whole house transfer switch is an involved and expensive process as the main power to your house needs to be shutoff for the installation. Liscensed inspectors and electricians both hired by you and from local utility must be involved.

    They make sub panel kits where only the items in that sub panel are capable of being powered off the generator. These are reasonably easy to install, and similar to installing a new circuit into an existing panel(doable by a knowledgable homeowner). Their drawback is that the number of circuits is limited, and only those circuits relocated to this sub panel can be fed by the generator.

    They also make main panel backfeed retrofit kits for most electrical panels. This kit installs a sliding plate between the main breaker and a breaker that goes to your generator. The sliding panel is designed so that only one of these two breakers can be on at a time, either the main breaker providing commercial power, or the backfeed breaker providing generator power, but never both. This kit is far more economical and practical for occasional backup power shifts IMO. They are much easier to install than the other two options. They are also more versatile in that it allows you to feed power to everything that is wired into your panel, within the limits of your generator of course, just like a whole house transfer switch does. These kits are UL approved and run about $150, and can be installed by an electrically savy homeowner. Generator InterLock Kit - Introduction

    Backfeeding a panel improperly, without this safety interlock can do serious damage to your wiring and generator, and could allow the possibility that a careless lineman could be injured with you being liable for any and all results of this illegal act.

    As with anything electrical, if you are the slightest bit in doubt of your knowledge and skills with electricity, best to hire a professional to do the wiring.
    Ron

  4. #4
    Veteran Member chh's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
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    1,178
    Location
    Eastern OK
    Tractor
    MF 596 , MF 4243, MF 1433V, D4H, D3C

    Default Re: Generator

    A pto generator is great. They are a very low maintainence item in my experience. As mentioned, you really need a transfer switch. If you don't have a transfer switch stick to running necessary items from extension cords.
    The one we have is a left over from when we owned a commercial hog facility so it is 40 kw continous and 60 kw surge. A little oversized for a house. It is defintely not straining at all even when we are running the A/C ect. Here is a pic of a MF 1433V running it about a month ago during an early morning power failure. All my other tractors where out in the hayfield, so this was the only one home to run it. It did a good job, but we only using the fridge, freezer and well pump( and the coffee maker ) This rig needs all of 75 pto hp when it was near full load running the hog barns. You can see the top of the manual transfer switch behind the meter.

    -haying-006-jpg
    Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
    Will Rogers

    The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale and pays the freight both ways.
    John F. Kennedy

  5. #5
    Elite Member schmism's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
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    4,926
    Location
    Peoria IL
    Tractor
    New holland TC(33)

    Default Re: Generator

    Quote Originally Posted by Whitey
    After the fifth blackout this summer.......and having it happen just before dark when everyone wants a shower Has anyone ever rigged up a A/C generator and ran it from a rear PTO and back fed their house?
    you should really search more.. there is volumes on this subject on this site, everything from gen heads, to spirited discussions concerning backfeeding your main panel etc.
    Steve - TC33D 4x4 FEL, dual rear remotes with toys

  6. #6
    Platinum Member jas67's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    985
    Location
    Central PA
    Tractor
    Kubota B7610 + Kubota G1800-S

    Default Re: Generator

    Quote Originally Posted by RonMar
    Not sure how many HP you have available, but you need 2HP per KW of electrical load. IF you have a very large tractor, as mentioned, it might not be very economical running it to power your house loads.
    I forgot to mention this (actually, I did mention it in another post about hydraulic drive for generators in the hydraulic section, which is why I forgot it here). If you are using a larger tractor than needed ( I.E., a 30 HP tractor for 10 KW, where 20 HP would do, or in my case a 16 HP tractor, when 10 HP would do for the 5KW needed), you can always run a lower engine speed with a higher PTO speed. My B7100 has a two speed PTO, 876 and 540. Most, if not all PTO generators need 540 RPM, I can get this at 2800 engine RPM, or 1730 engine RPM at the higher PTO speed. With a 5 KW load (even with a larger-sized PTO generator) this engine speed and gear choice would be fuel efficient for my needs.

    Also, you will want a way to measure the line frequency if the generator you purchase does not have a frequency meter on it. Frequency varies with engine speed, so adjust your throttle/governor accordingly. Many digital multimeters (like my 15 yr old Fluke 83) have frequency. You need 60 Hz +/- 3% for any motor loads, and for that mater anything that has a transformer needs to be no less than 55 Hz, or it may start drawing too much current. The other issue, is the generator may not regular voltage properly if speed is too far off.
    '05 B7610 w/ LA352 FEL
    Everything Attachments Pin-on Pallet Forks, home-made FEL quick attach to swap between these forks and the bucket, Dual rear remotes, CCM Top-N-Tilt, Woods SB60 snowblower, 66" United box blade, 60" back blade (cheapo, old and rusty), 60" KK rake, Woods PHD w/ 9" auger, Yanmar RS1303 3pt tiller, Kubota Ballast box (came with the tractor), Farm Force Carry All.
    '9? G1800S, 48" MMM. 70's Troy Bilt Horse tiller with new 6.5HP briggs engine.

    The means justify the ends.

  7. #7
    Platinum Member jas67's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    985
    Location
    Central PA
    Tractor
    Kubota B7610 + Kubota G1800-S
    '05 B7610 w/ LA352 FEL
    Everything Attachments Pin-on Pallet Forks, home-made FEL quick attach to swap between these forks and the bucket, Dual rear remotes, CCM Top-N-Tilt, Woods SB60 snowblower, 66" United box blade, 60" back blade (cheapo, old and rusty), 60" KK rake, Woods PHD w/ 9" auger, Yanmar RS1303 3pt tiller, Kubota Ballast box (came with the tractor), Farm Force Carry All.
    '9? G1800S, 48" MMM. 70's Troy Bilt Horse tiller with new 6.5HP briggs engine.

    The means justify the ends.

  8. #8
    Gold Member Whitey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    250
    Location
    Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania
    Tractor
    Kabota B21 TLB

    Default Re: Generator

    WOW!!! Thanks much to all that have posted.......I have my work cut out for me. I do believe that all are right that spoke about the transfer switch, this would only make sense and provide safety. The back feed comment from me was brought about by thinking I could remotely feed my house through a sub feed from my shop. That way a tractor driven or natural gas driven generator would be 102' from my house. Put it behind or in the machine storage beside and you would not hear it as much.

    It is a shame to live in dependency of electricity but after upgrading all of my gas fired appliances to high efficiency to save $$$$$$$ they require electricity for their exhaust blowers. We like to live independently however there are limitations. I just want to have an option so I can keep the family as comfortable as I can.

    I will let you know how it turned out.

    JD 770 / 70 FEL / 7 BH - 425 AWS / 54" MMM / 54" FMP

  9. #9
    Super Member Highbeam's Avatar
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    Feb 2005
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    5,039
    Location
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Tractor
    Kioti CK30HST

    Default Re: Generator

    Your needs put you into the PTO generator category. Check out the northern tool products. The generator will be over 1000$.

    Fully electric water heaters need lots of juice. Mine is fed with a 30 amp 220 volt breaker for nearly 6000 watts. Well pumps have a surge when they start that can draw as much as 3-5x their nameplate wattage, so a 1/2 HP pump can draw 2000 watts. Fridge can be an easy 1000.

    Shoot for no less than a 10KW PTO genny. If you have enough tractor for more KW and the additional cost is small then you can spin a higher capacity genny and not burn any more fuel doing it.

    I equipped my all electric home with an interlock transfer device and a 3500 watt gasoline genset that is not capable of completely powering my home. I will turn off the water heater and hot tub which are big and automatic starters, and then manage my other power needs like the microwave and range to stay within the abilities of the smaller genset. We don't need AC and the water is from a well with its own genset.
    Kioti CK30HST, FEL w/toothbar, 60" RC, 60" BB, PJ 10k trailer. Weekend warrior hauling 50 miles each way.

  10. #10
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    ym1700, NH7610S, Ford 8N, 2N, NAA, 660, 850 x2, 541, 950, 941D, 951, 2000, 3000, 4000, 4600, 5000, 740, IH 'C' 'H', CUB, John Deere 'B', allis 'G', case VAC

    Default Re: Generator

    This has worked for me... get the genny and have the well pump up water to make sure the hot water heater is full, then swap over and power the water heater for about 20 minutes to get some hot water built up. now.. if you don't have much genny, swap back over tot he well, and then get in the shower.. the genny keeps the well going and pressure up.. and you have as much hot water as your WH holds.. till it goes cold. if you have alot of genny.. you can keep both the Wh and well going.

    remember.. don't backfeed the grid.. if you wire up something.. do it point to point and take it out of the system.. etc..

    soundguy

    Quote Originally Posted by Whitey
    After the fifth blackout this summer.......and having it happen just before dark when everyone wants a shower Has anyone ever rigged up a A/C generator and ran it from a rear PTO and back fed their house?

    Seems I have heard of this some time ago......I just want enough juice to run a well and a hot water tank and after that a freezer or fridge and maybe a furnace if it was in the winter time.

    Maybe this is too much to ask. I have looked at commercial natural gas generators and I don't have the budget for one. Gasoline is next but I was curious about the PTO driven one if they exist. I am almost ashamed to admit my dependency on electricity.

    Thanx

    JD 770 / 70 FEL / 7 BH - 425 AWS / 54" MMM / 54" FMP

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